Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

Ellen Horan's debut historical mystery, 31 Bond Street, hits shelves in just over a week and you're definitely going to want to keep an eye out for it.

One of the best parts of reviewing books, in addition to sharing my newfound reads, is receiving press material. It's a little added bonus for nerds like me: I'm one of those readers who just gulps up information on books and the industry. I read the acknowledgements, the author bio, and any other extras that come in the finished book. I check out the author's website and I read reviews. Sometimes, the press material features blurbs by other authors I read, sometimes it's simply a note from the editor or the publicity director. The best ones, though, are the ones like 31 Bond Street, where there's really a great backstory for the inspiration behind the book. It can be just a nugget of info or a full-blown interview, but either way, it's a peek into what makes the author tick.

Here's some of what the press material on 31 Bond Street said:

On a lazy day, perusing the bins at a vintage print shop in Soho, Horan found a yellowed newspaper page with an etching of a crowd assembled on the cobblestone steps of a townhouse on a tree-lined street in New York City. The caption said 31 Bond Street and the date was 1857. Upon research, this clipping turned out to be about the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist, who lived at this address, and the biggest news story of the first half of the 19th century, occupying the front pages of every major newspaper of the time and traveling across the ocean. It was the “crime of the century,” literally, and it began our current voyeuristic fascination with crime, sex and law.

In the tradition of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, 31 BOND STREET takes readers on a fascinating archeological dig, wading trough the minutiae of a buried past, only to uncover circumstances that are shockingly contemporary: a sensationalist press, burgeoning new wealth, a booming real estate market, and race and gender conflicts, and the crime that overshadowed everything. According to historian Kenneth M. Stampp in his book America in 1857: a Nation on the Brink, the murder of Harvey Burdell “Permeated every grade of society…Until the termination of the trial the case so absorbed the public that even the political press was distracted from politics, not only in New York but throughout the country.”

I dare you to tell me that you aren't at least a little curious about what Horan has in store. I dare you!

For more on 31 Bond Street and Ellen Horan, visit the official 31 Bond Street website at: www.31bondstreet.com. I'm in the midst of reading this one right now and will be reviewing it for bookbitch.com this week. I'll also post something here later as well.

Happy reading and I hope you're all having a great weekend!


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Looks like a good one! I've requested it from my library!

Vickie said...

I hope this comes out as an audiobook, it would be awesome to listen to this story. Thanks for the cranium's up.